Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of female human-rights defender

October 25, 2014

LogoRedMujeresFinal-2-289x300

The Network of Female Activists and Human-Rights Defenders of Oaxaca denounced that on 8 October, the home of defender Silvia Gabriela Hernández Salinas, a member of the Oaxacan Voices Building Autonomy and Freedom (VOCAL) collective, was forcibly entered to remove her personal computer and two external hard drives.  Despite the fact that the house contained other valuable items, only the digital materials in question were stolen, such that the Network believes that the robbery is associated with her work in favor of the defense of human rights.

In Oaxaca, mobilizations were undertaken on 2 and 8 October to demand the presentation of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa alive.  It should be mentioned that Silvia Gabriela participated in both such protest-actions.  Furthermore, she indicated that months previously, she had been confronted by members of the State Preventive Police and was arrested on 6 July 2007, when supporters of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) clashed with police following the procession of the popular Guelaguetza in Oaxaca City.

This case adds to the list of 59 attacks against 22 human-rights defenders, 3 journalists, and 6 collectives and organizations in the state of Oaxaca that have been committed in the first half of 2014.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian allanamiento y robo defensora de los DH (Noticias Net, 10 de octubre de 2014)

Allanan domicilio de defensora de DH; suman 60 ataques en Oaxaca solo en 2014 (Página 3, 9 de octubre de 2014)

Oaxaca: Primer lugar en ataques a mujeres defensoras de DH y periodistas (Consorcio Oaxaca, 23 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Attempted murder against a member of VOCAL (12 January 2009)


Oaxaca: Two dead and one seriously injured, in a “worrying increase of police violence” (EDUCA)

October 11, 2014

Imagen @ OIDHO.org

Image @ OIDHO.org

On 22 September, the communal leader Jaime López Hernández, member of the Indigenous Organization for Human Rights in Oaxaca (OIDHO), was killed by a shot in the back in the San Andrés Lovene community, San Juan Ozolotepec municipality, as he was visiting his mother’s gravesite. Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA) manifested its energetic rejection of the act, condemning the murder of Jaime López, and it noted that “[we are] concerned by the increase in police violence in Oaxaca and the impunity in which attacks against [social] leaders and human-rights defenders remain.  Jaime López’s murder [...] joins in a long chain of attacks committed against human-rights activists.  Organizations such as Peace Brigades International and the National Network of Human Rights ‘All Rights for All’ have located Oaxaca as one of the states in which is observed the most attacks on human-rights defenders.  We call on the state authorities to act immediately in this case, to engage in a lawful investigation, and to commit themselves seriously to protecting the work of defenders in Oaxaca.”

Beyond this, on 26 September, two teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) were fired upon from a vehicle as they were walking in the street.  Of the two teachers, both of whom worked in a high school in San Mateo del Mar, one died–Shamir Jonatán Osorio Gallegos–while the other, Manuel Reyna Osorio, was seriously injured.

Lastly, reflecting on the numerous violent acts that have been seen in different parts of Mexico of late, an opinion article in La Jornada expressed that “Despite the official efforts to minimize the impacts of insecurity in the social perception, violence and criminal anarchy continue to affect the people in many regions of the national territory, giving the impression that the attempt to deviate attention from these problems does nothing more than exacerbate them [...].  The armed forces continue to be employed in police tasks that are distinct from their constitutionally defined role; the country lacks social, political, educational, and health policies that would be able to act as a preventive factor against organized crime; impunity prevails in nearly all the crimes committed by the previous administration; the reform of police bodies at the three levels [of government] continues to be a pending task; the observance of human rights experiences serious factical and institutional regression, and, above all, an economic policy that provokes social anomie, unemployment, and marginalization, that obliges large segments of the population to work in the informal sector and that, ultimately, ends up feeding criminality continues and is made yet more profound.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de Prensa: Asesinan a Jaime López, integrante de OIDHO(OIDHO, 23 de septiembre de 2014)  

Líder de OIDHO fue asesinado frente a la tumba de su madre en San Andrés Lovene (Página 3, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

RvsR: Ante el asesinato de Jaime López Hernández, de la OIDHO (Enlace Zapatista, 2 de octubre de 2014)

Violencia imparable (La Jornada, 29 de septiembre de 2014)

Condena Sección 22 asesinato de profesor (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 28 de septiembre de 2014)

Atacan a balazos a 2 intendentes (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 28 de septiembre de 2014)

Tirotean a maestros de la @SECCIONXXII en Oaxaca; Un muerto (E-Consulta Oaxaca, 27 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Concern for the alarming increase in murders in the state (26 April 2014)


Oaxaca/National: Efforts to avert imprisonment of human-rights defender Bettina Cruz

October 1, 2014

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archivo)

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archive)

In a press conference held on 23 September, federal legislators called on the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to stop the looming incarceration of Oaxacan rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez, who presently free faces accusations of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and national wealth.

It bears mentioning that on 22 February 2012, the defender was detained and incarcerated, accused of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and the national wealth, though she only participated in a protest a year previous opposing high electricity prices in Oaxaca.  On 24 February 2012 she posted bail and was released, but the legal process against her continues.

The legislators in question affirm that they “consider that the moves and process against Bettina represent acts of criminalization of social protest, illustrating the risky situations faced by persons who work to defend human rights.  Through this process, it has become clear that the justice system has deviated greatly against them, particularly those who work in defense of the land amidst the imposition of megaprojects.”

Beyond this, in a communique published on 25 September, Amnesty International (AI) warned that, if the judiciary power decided to imprison the rights-defender, it would “consider nominating her as a prisoner of conscience.”  AI stressed that the obligation of the Mexican authorities “is to guarantee that the justice system does not work in favor of the persecution of those who defend human rights, as revenge against their legitimate actions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden legisladores a PGR evitar encarcelamiento de activista (Cimac Noticias, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Carta completa de los legisladores (23 de septiembre de 2014)

No a la persecución judicial de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos (Amnistía Internacional, 25 de septiembre de 2014)

Campaña en twitter: etiqueta #JusticiaparaBettina

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


Oaxaca: Law on indigenous and Afromexican peoples “tied up” in the state congress

October 1, 2014

Evento de organizaciones Civiles sobre la Ley Indígena y Afromestiza (@Noticiasnet.mx)

Event with civil organizations regarding the Indigenous and Afromestizo Law (@Noticiasnet.mx)

Six months after Governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo sent the bill regarding Indigenous and Afromexican Peoples to the state congress, it still has yet to be approved.  It bears mentioning that the project of this initiative was submitted to the state congress on 21 March 2014, following two years of preparation via a series of forums and consultations.

On 22 September, the Consultative Council of Indigenous and Afromexican Peoples of Oaxaca called on the congress to approve this reform during the current period of meetings, “taking into consideration that today, in New York, the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples has begun, with this being a high-level plenary session of the sixty-ninth period of sessions of the UN General Assembly, which seems to promote the implementation of the rights of indigenous peoples.”  Indeed, President Enrique Peña Nieto attended said meeting.

The secretary for Indigenous Affairs, Adelfo Regino Montes, has assured that, were the Decree Project to be approved as a reform, it would add and require a number of changes to the Oaxacan state constitution in terms of indigenous and Afromexican affairs, and thus would constitute an “unprecedented and historic” change.

Civil-society organizations have denounced that the initiative finds itself tied up in the congress due to “fear, prejudice, and ignorance.”  They have expressed that, if the initiative in question were not to be approved, social organizations and indigenous movements would take other means.  In a press-conference, Gustavo Esteva from Unitierra affirmed that Oaxaca could come to be a global model of legislative harmonization of this dimension and thus help bring about a more inclusive, democratic, and just society, precisely through attending comprehensively to the rights of indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ley sobre Pueblos Indígenas: vanguardista pero ‘atorada’ en el Congreso(Noticiasnet.mx, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

Por doble ignorancia Congreso local no aprueba reforma constitucional indígena (E-Oaxaca, 22 de septiembre de 2014)

Miedo e ignorancia impiden ley indígena (Noticiasnet.mx, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Miedo, prejuicio e ignorancia, frenan Ley Indígena (Adiario, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Comunicado del Consejo Consultivo de los Pueblos Indígenas y Afromexicano de Oaxaca


Oaxaca: Network of women’s rights defenders fears for female members of Radio Nahndiá

September 16, 2014

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On 9 September, the Network of Female Activists and Human-Rights Defenders of Oaxaca, which brings together 98 activists and defenders from the state, published an open letter expressing its concern for the risks faced by members of Radio Nahndiá.

In the letter, the Network recalls that “Radio Nahndiá is a Mazateca communal radio located in Mazatlán Villa de Flores which for 13 years has been doing crucial work in favor of information and education of the community, including the diffusion of information regarding the rights of women and indigenous peoples.”  It noted that “since 2013, Radio Nahndiá has released information of special importance regarding the electoral process in the Mazatlán Villa de Flores municipality and its irregularities [...].  Since this time, a wave of violence has plagued the community, as directed by former mayor Mario Carrera López.”

For this reason, the Network expressed its concern for the risk of revenge attacks and the security of the 6 female radio operators affiliated with Radio Nahndiá who have been threatened with death.  Lastly, the Network called on the state government “to immediately implement the necessary actions to guarantee the exercise of the right to freedom of expresion in the state, and that it adopt urgent and adequate measures to prevent and punish the attacks against communal radios, including specific measures to protect female human-rights defenders.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Carta pública de la Red de Mujeres Activistas y Defensoras de Derechos Humanos de Oaxaca (Adnsureste, 9 de septiembre de 2014)

Radio Nahndiá

Definirán en consulta, elección en Mazatlán (Noticias.net.mx, 5 de septiembre de 2014)

Mazatlán Villa de Flores desea elecciones;  trabajan conjuntamente(Boletín del gobierno del estado de Oaxaca, 4 de septiembre de 2014)


Oaxaca: Protests rage in Juchitán, like in 1886

September 16, 2014

Marchan en Juchitán (@EDUCA)

On 5 September, members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) marched to commemorate the battle of 1886 in which Zapotecos defeated the Imperial French Army.  In this sense, they demanded that the authorities respect their rights as indigenous peoples given that, as they say, their rights have been violated by the installation of wind-energy parks in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  Mariano López Gómez, APPJ director, accused the leaders of the Worker-Campesino-Student Coalition of the Isthmus (COCEI) of attempting to support and manipulate a referendum to support the installation of new wind-energy parks in the region.

Another group of Zapotec indigenous peoples from Unión Hidalgo, Juchitán, Xadani, and Álvaro Obregón who are associated with the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory also protested in the same place to similarly demand respect of their sovereignty as indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan opositores eólicos para exigir respeto a sus derechos indígenas(Pagina3.mx, 6 de septiembre de 2014)

Comunicado de la Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (APIIDTT, 5 de septiembre de 2014

Comunicado de la APPJ (APPJ, 5 de septiembre de 2014)

En conmemoración a los héroes Juchitecos, antieólicos marcharon a favor de los derechos de la tierra y el territorio (Realidades de Oaxaca, 8 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciations of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (December 9, 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


Oaxaca: Consorcio Oaxaca completes 10 years working for a free life for women

September 15, 2014

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To observe its tenth anniversary of work, Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca (Consorcio Oaxaca) has published the book Lines toward New Geographies: Ten Years of Feminist Construction.  Since Consorcio Oaxaca emerged in 2003, with the goal of promoting respect for and exercise of the human rights of women and gender equality, it has been struggling against the criminalization of abortion, denouncing femicide and violence against women, and constantly criticizing racism, injustice, and inequality.  It also has insisted on public policies incorporating gender perspectives and has contributed to the training of judicial officials and public servants.

The book presents personal reflections of Consorcio members regarding their experiences, such as “when we fight against injustice it is impossible to separate this from our emotions,” and they called for a “will to actively participate and not allow oneself to be defeated, though it may seem that the fight has already been decided.”  For the female authors, the daily work of each woman is the first step to achieving change, given that the “struggle begins the life of each person.”

For more information (in Spanish):

10 años de Consorcio Oaxaca: “Mujeres que rompen el silencio” (30 de agosto de 2014)

Libro: Trazos hacia Nuevas Geografías. Diez años de construcción feminista (Consorcio Oaxaca)

Mujeres que rompen el silencio (E-Oaxaca, 31 de agosto de 2014)

Van 74 feminicidios en ocho meses (Noticias Net, 31 de agosto de 2014)

Trazos hacia nuevas geografías: Consorcio Oaxaca 10 años de construcción feminista (Las Caracolas, 4 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Oaxaca: new intimidation directed at Alba Cruz (18 January 2011)

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Demand for end to feminicide in Oaxaca (8 September 2011)


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